ANST - To Dennis O' Connor

Garth green at
Wed Aug 6 10:09:02 PDT 1997

Dennis O'Connor wrote:
>  -----Original Message-----
> From: Garth <green at>
> >Just because somebody has a different opinion than you does not make
> >their argument invalid. You might try doing some formal debate.
> I think you have it wrong.  "Validity", in the sense used in logic
> and argument, does not apply to opinions.  It applies to the
> construction of the argument supporting that opinion.  To simply
> repeat oneself, or to accomplish an identical effect by stating
> "I stand on my words", is an invalid form of argument.  Validity
> does not even address whether the axioms underlying an
> argument are true or false (and therefor does not address
> whether the conclusions drawn are true or false); it addresses
> whether the conclusion was reached by applying logic to
> the axioms. With a valid argument, we know that if we agree
> on the axioms, then we must agree on the conclusion.  Conversely,
> if we disagree on the conclusion, we know that disagreement must
> stem from a disagreement on the truth-value of one or more axioms.
> (Either that, or one of us is being irrational.) This is in fact the value
> of using *valid* arguments: it allows us to work towards an understanding
> of our differences.  Invalid arguments often have the reverse effect.
> This is why IMHO it is appropriate to castigate people for using
> invalid forms of argument, as you have done.
> >As I said in my original reply; I simply reject your cynical attitude.
> I have shown much more cause for having a cynical attitude
> (which contrary to your claims, I do not have, but regardless ..)
> than you have  shown for not.  I have put forth an argument, and
> you have responded as if you were involved in some childish
> "is ... isn't ... is ... isn't" exchange. Support your opinions,
> or spare me and the 'net the mere repetition of them.  I do
> not particularly care which of those options you choose.
> >If you are so miserable in the SCA why don't you find something else to
> >do on the weekends?
> Do you have evidence that I am "miserable in the SCA" ?
> If so, I'd like to see it.  Without it your question makes as
> much sense as the classic "Are unicorns blue ?" question
> (none) and is about as honest a question as the classic
> "Do you still beat your wife". Which reminds me,  Garth,
> do you still beat your wife ? (Get the point ?)
> BTW, the very title of your posts makes it likely you intended
> to engage in "ad-hominem" attacks, and I think it pretty obvious
> that you have indeed done so.  Such attacks are of course invalid.
> Resorting to them is often seen as a sign of not being able to
> support your position by any valid argument.  They are also
> often taken as an invitation to "flame".  (It made me smile to see
> you use them.  Kindling for the fire is always nice. Heh heh heh!)
> I have commented on the obvious weakness of your arguments.
> You have responded with remarks that do not address my *arguments*
> at all, but rather address *me*: that I am cynical, that I do not enjoy
> being in the SCA, that I do not understand formal debate. Anyone
> with any knowledge of me will, I think, agree that all those accusations
> are very untrue: I am sanguine, I enjoy events, and I believe I have
> demonstrated many times my skill at formal debate, and at flames,
> too, when the latter more suits my purpose and inclination. If I
> thought your opinion mattered a damn (which I do not) I would
> take offense.  But instead, I simply recognize that you have much
> to learn about conducting a rational debate on the 'net, and have
> endeavored to instruct you.  I recognize that this instruction no doubt
> annoys you, especially as it points out the inadequacy of your conduct
> in a public forum, and therefor probably causes you embarrassment.
> Possibly you will react angrily, and thereby further embarrass yourself.
>  If I had wished to spare you that embarrassment I would have replied
> privately, but I felt that the instruction I believe you so obviously need
> can also be of some use to others, and so I have not spared you.
> --
> Dennis O'Connor               dmoc at
> I'm having close to too much fun with this. :-)
I mearly stated an opinon that you seem to disagree with. That's fine -
my words are not engraved in stone and handed down from a mountain. You
are the one who hurls insults not me. Everybody can read the above text.
You are the one who is trying to convert this into a pissing contest and
I am no longer interested in you.

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